Cowboys and dust carts


By: Robin

Earliest memory playing out when I was a kid… Well, I used to be very keen on cowboys and horses. And I don’t know how old I was – perhaps six, seven? I used to sit on the doorstep for street where I lived, which was Sturton Street and it’s a tiny narrow street. You go down there now and I wonder how it accommodated so much traffic in the 50s because there was a wood yard down there a builder’s, there was an oil company firm that took paraffin all round the area. So and the corporation depot was at the bottom of Mill Road and then the gasworks at the top of Sturton Street and Newmarket Road, so I used to sit on the step watching the traffic go by and they’d be horse drawn carts, cold carts going to the Coop depot, they’d be the oil lorries for Robert C. Brown, they’d be the gas men on their bikes with all that tools on their trade bikes and things like that and building workers with hand carts, believe it or not. And yeah, there was even a dust cart used to be the dust cart driver lived two doors away from us. And it was before though there were all in a wheelie bins and things. They just – everyone used to pull their dust bin out, and then they’d be offloaded into the dust cart. But this chap who lived two doors away, he’d get finished early and he’d just park his dust car perhaps at lunchtime quite nearby, and I used to jump up on the back of it. And get in a row. And of course very smelly.

Photograph (right): Robin on his toy horse c1952


Interviewed by Pippa Hale and Emma Bearman, May 2023

Photograph (above): Robin and his brother at Sturton Street c 1955-56

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